A few days ago Apple released their Windows version of iTunes. If you don't know what iTunes is, it's a music download program that lets you search for songs and arists, sample the music at CD quality, then buy and download the songs for $.99 each.
I took it upon myself to try it out.
I have been a steady Kazaa user ever since Napster died. I've downloaded hundreds of songs (not at a time, mind you) from Kazaa and burned tons of CDs.
So I download the iTunes software (free from itunes.com) and installed without problems. The first thing I noticed is that it didn't try to install any adware or Internet Explorer favorites. This is always nice. Once the program opened I see the Mac style interface we all know and love/hate.
You have to register a username and password which takes all of a minute. Credit card information is also needed so you can purchase songs.
I wanted to find a song by Eve 6 and I couldn't remeber the name or any lyrics, but thankfully iTunes let's you stream a CD quality 30 second sample, and it's almost instant. Finding the song was easy with this feature. A great relief from Kazaa; where if you don't know the name of song, your stuck downloading a bunch of random songs, some of which may have bad quality or never start.
iTunes only has one version of a song, unless it has explicit lyrics, then they also offer a clean version of the song (another nice feature). And you don't have to worry about the songs having fuzz, clicks, low quality or any of those other annoying things that are common in Kazaa audio files.
I can't tell you how refreshing it is to search for a song and find it, and not have to worry about how many sources or bandwidth it has and which filename is the one you want. I love it.
The only things that bugged me was it is a little slow loading different sections of the program (music store, music library etc). The other is that the files don't have an .mp3 extension and you can't open them in anything but iTunes or Quicktime (which I hear is changing soon).
At $.99 a song, its very affordable. This is great because now you never have to buy an entire CD (for those who still buy CDs) for just a few songs. Once you have the songs, you can freely burn them to a CD, or if you have an iPod, load them on there.
I don't know about anyone else here, but I got a great satisfaction out of knowing that I own the files, fully and legally.
There are so many more features in iTunes like radio and importing your current music library into iTunes, but I don't have time to go into them.
So overall I give iTunes an 8 out of 10. I just thought I'd give everyone an idea of what to expect in the future and what not.
Feel free to post your feedback here.